Sunday, August 28, 2011
Taking Up Our Cross and Following Jesus
Today's Magnificat meditation by FATHER ANDRE Louf. o.c.s.o.
When our hour has really arrived, God's grace will also be there, and very small things may suffice to help in our simple acceptance of and co-operation with grace. What counts is the recognition of our real cross. Often it is much more difficult to recognise the cross Jesus intends for us personally than to accept it once we have recognised it. We are inclined to think, furthermore, that our crosses would not be so pain ful if we could immediately see them. There lies the rub which usually disturbs those who have opted for a life of detachment. Their temptation consists in imagining that they already know beforehand what their cross or time of testing will be. Unfortunately, a cross one knows in advance, even if it is fairly heavy, is no longer the cross of Jesus. Our real cross is always to some degree unanticipated and always seems to far surpass our strength. As a rule, we would never have chosen it. Passionately to cling to a cross of our own choosing and perhaps unconsciously but equally pas sionately to reject the cross that Jesus intends for us is perhaps the heaviest and most discouraging cross. It could keep us forever from taking up our real cross if Jesus did not at some time intervene.
For what is our cross other than Jesus himself? To accept this cross is to accept him. It is simultaneously "to take up our cross" and to follow him. Undoubtedly, if we could know God's gift, if we could see and recognise it, we would have an easier time of it.